I wrote two different blog posts this weekend, and both were abysmally depressing because I’m in a funk again. I decided not to post either of them. Damn winter!
Let’s go to Florida instead. I always drive, because I like seeing this country. Although it takes longer than flying, it’s immensely more satisfying and makes me feel like I’ve really taken a trip.
At the Nickajack Reservoir rest stop (one of my favorites; I always stop there), I spied this sign.
Believe it or not, it did not make me nervous. I have little fear of snakes; I like them. But I was with Suki, and I took care on her behalf.
I stayed with friends who are somewhat well off. I was there two weeks, driving down in the dead of winter at their invitation. They have four dogs, were going on a cruise, and wondered if I wouldn’t mind housesitting in their absence. They didn’t have to ask me twice! They even paid for the rental car down and back (mine was getting somewhat ancient at the time and I didn’t think it had another cross-country trip in it.)
Lots of people have what they call “cages;” it keeps out the bugs at night so you can sit and enjoy the warm weather without being eaten alive. A surprising number of homes also have a pool. Somewhat fewer of them have the Jacuzzi. My friends had both, to my everlasting delight. Click on all photos to see at uploaded size.
And the view from the other side:
Please note the dog area at the far end. Yes, these people loved their dogs so much, they had a special high-walled area added off the cage so the dogs could play and pee outside safely. Suki loved being down there. However, one morning, she either slipped or got too curious, because I heard a splash as we were walking past the pool. I turned and saw her in the water, eyes as big as I’ve ever seen them (and you know she already has large eyes from her Chihuahua mother!), dog-paddling frantically.
Terrified, I knelt at the edge and called, and she swam straight to me. She was shaking, I was shaking, but she was fine. And never went in the pool again. This incident convinces me a dog paddle is the most natural thing in the world, and it may have saved her life that day.
My friends’ house backs a large natural lake. Like all freshwater lakes in Florida, it has its resident croc or two. I’m still amazed at how accepting people are about this. In fact, while I was walking the neighborhood streets one morning, some kids on their way to school pointed to a croc sunning itself in a watery ditch just off the road. He was a young one, about five or six feet long. We looked at him, he looked at us. Every time I passed that corner from then on, I checked to see if he was there. Often, he was.
Back to the lake. Notice the wild grass and plants to the left. I stayed out of there. It looked like a perfect home for snakes.
Across the lake was the neighborhood community center, where you could hang out, enjoy their pool, play billiards, arrange to have a meeting, etc.
And what visit to Florida would be complete without a picture of the green anole? Such cute little things.
I took this photo while standing in the wild grass. ;/ Apparently, when it comes to photos, I don’t mind taking a risk.
Ah… now I feel much better on this dreary gray Monday. I hope you do too!